Thursday, September 19, 2013

Y is for Youth

Dear Miss Esmé,
You are youth.
I’ve found lots of quotes to use for this letter.
We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.” ~ Stacia Tauscher
Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right. Proverbs 20:11

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. ~ 1 Timothy 4:12

Let the little children come to me, and do not forbid them, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.  ~Matthew 19:14

But none of these strike a chord with me, none echo the whispers of my heart.

Oh, nothing wrong with them.  Lots right with them.  Youth are important to God.  Youth can do great things for Him.  In fact, of such is the kingdom.

I ask you what you consider “young.”

“Anyone 39 and under,” you say.  Stinker!  You know I just turned 40.  Thank you very much!

I guess what makes this the hardest letter for me is that youth is fleeting.  One day, God willing, you’ll turn 40, and you’ll have a white moustache and beard that’s not made from flour no longer be young, and then what?


Oh, we talk about how youth is an attitude, and you can be forever young.  But I guarantee it – one day, maybe even before you turn 40, you will be bone-achingly weary.  Struggling even to breathe, to take the next step, and keep taking the next step. 

Sometimes you’ll bring it on yourself, taking on too much.  Other times it’ll seem like life keeps throwing obstacles at you, and you can’t see any way out, any light at the end of the tunnel.

And then I run across this verse.  And finally I can relate:

Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

~Isaiah 40:30-31

Ahh – now I have some wisdom to pass on in my ripe old age!

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. ~Matthew 11:29

Note that it doesn’t say rest for your body.  Or even rest for your mind.  It says “rest for your souls.”  You may have periods of craziness where even those Sabbaths of rest are filled to the brim, and there seems no way off the spinning merry-go-round of life.  And God says, even though your life keeps whizzing around with no sign of stopping, and you can’t even blink for the arrows rushing at you, your soul can rest.  Because He is enough.

My soul finds rest in God alone, my Rock and my salvation,
a fortress strong against my foes, and I will not be shaken.
Though lips may bless and hearts may curse, and lies like arrows pierce me,
I’ll fix my heart on righteousness, I’ll look to Him who hears me.

Ill set my gaze on God alone, and trust in Him completely;
with every day pour out my soul, and He will prove His mercy.
Though life is but a fleeting breath, a sigh too brief to measure,
My King has crushed the curse of death and I am His forever.

O praise Him, hallelujah, My Delight and my Reward;
Everlasting, never failing, My Redeemer, my God.

~Aaron Keyes lyrics

I love you, my amazing, beautiful, clever, dilly-dallying, energized, following, grace-filled, hidden, indomitable, Jericho-miracle, kidlet, loved, mirroring, named, one-of-a-kind, poor, quicksilvery, ransomed, snuggling, tough, useful, vibrant, worthy, eXtraordinary, youthful baby girl!

Your Mom
Each birthday, I write a letter to my baby girl.  This year, the year of the amazing 56-year-mark, I’ll be working from A to Z.


Katherine said...

So true.

I write letters to my little ones on their birthdays as well. Hopefully, they'll be happy I did so someday.